Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Love Rock n Roll (and other stuff too)

I love live music. It almost doesn't matter what kind it is. I get carried away with the sounds of a chamber orchestra, by heart beats with the bass of a hard rock show. I love wandering around the French Quarter in New Orleans, turning a corner and a street musician is playing his heart out to everyone passing by.

I've tried to be "musical" at different times in my life, because I love it so much. I think in 4th or 5th grade I sang in the school chorus, and had one verse of Puff the Magic Dragon as my first solo performance. We went around to some local schools to perform, and I almost died when I realized I wouldn't have a microphone at one of the schools. I'm pretty sure nobody heard me. I had practiced "singing well", not singing loud.

In middle school, I went to my first rock concert: Ratt and Poison (yes, with Brett Michaels before his bandana implant). Most of my singing around that time was to the MTV video countdown after school, where the hair bands ruled; and my performance was limited to The Cruettes, a few of us girls blasting Bon Jovi and the like and air-jamming like crazy!

There was an open spot in my schedule my junior or senior year. I joined the guitar class, sure that my dad's and mom's strumming talents were passed on to me. I showed up for 3 classes. I'm pretty sure my fingers just don't go that way. And my hands are tiny. Ask anybody. (I opted to take a speech class instead.)

The Guitar that Started it All
The guitar gods still had plans for me, however.  I dropped my name into a drawing to win an autographed Fender Stratocaster at the Tempe Music Festival and I won! I think that was in 2004. Maybe now I was ready to learn!

So... a few years later, the lonely Strat sat in its case in the closet of my new home here in Wichita Falls. My sweetheart had told me all about the band he was in 20 years ago. He showed the the video tape. The band called themselves Coitus (yes, I know) and covered such bands as Metallica and Judas Priest. Gellert (my now husband) even had hair back then (as cute as the mullet was, I really prefer the bald look. He's been warned not to grow any hair back, as I will shave his head in his sleep and that's kind of dangerous.) He really enjoyed playing back then, he said. But it had been a very long time, and he had to get rid of all his equipment years ago anyway.

So then I said, "Hey, I have a guitar in my closet just sitting there. You can play on that if you want."

Well. That's why I'm sitting here, early on a Saturday night, wondering what I should wear to the Iron Horse Pub. Since Gellert started practicing on that Fender, he's bought himself a guitar for every finger (it seems); our living room was a jam room for the first part of 2009, including a full drum set; and  he's been in two bands (currently in Jac Damsel). I missed his first performance with Jac Damsel because I was at a writing conference, but unless the gig has been out of town, at the Airforce base, or I've been under the weather, I've been right there, watching my sweetie play!

We've talked a bit about dragging out my barely-Karaoke approved singing voice and doing a husband and wife set at a local open mike, but I haven't quite made it there. We'll see. For now, I'll just get to live a little bit of an old teenage dream when I can say, "Oh, I'm with the band."
Gellert  and I after our performances--he was playing guitar, I was belly dancing. Not at the same time, though.

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